Fear God

Luke 12:4-5, NLT

4 “Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that.
5 But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, He’s the one to fear.
6 “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins ? Yet God does not forget a single one of them.
7 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
8 “I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels.
9 But anyone who denies me here on earth will be denied before God’s angels.
10 Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
11 “And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say,
12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.”

Introduction

June and I had the pleasure of seeing the Niagria Falls in person some twenty years ago. It is an awesome sight and I highly recommend that you save your beach money and go see the falls.  I have not had the priviledge of seeing the Grand Canyon from the ground, only by air and from 35,000 feet, it looks line a line in the sand. I have loaded us a picture and I understand that from the observation tower to the bottom of the canyon is 6,000 feet. I have been told by those who have seen it in person that it is an awesome breath taking sight.

Grand-Canyon-Skywalk-View

King David said, “Let the whole world fear the LORD, and let everyone stand in awe of him.” {Psalm 33:8} 

In an infinitesimal way, the Grand Canyon is like God: by that I mean it is awesome in its presence but it must be feared. An average of 6 people die at the Canyon each year. No mere human can survive a 6,000 foot fall, not even if they land in the Colorado River below. It is an awesome breath taking sight that could rob you of speech but it must be respected.

David wisely puts these two words–Awe and fear together in relationship to God. Just as it is foolish to disrepect the danger of the Canyon, so it is exceedingly more foolish to disrespect the power of God. Abraham feared God, Job feared God and hated evil, so I too fear God.

I can only imagine what my eyes will see when His face is before me. Surrounded by His glory, what will my heart feel? Will I dance for Jesus, or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in His presence or to my knees will I fall? Will I sing hallelujah or will I be able to sing at all. I can only imagine but if I had to guess, I would say His presence will leave me in stunned silence and amazement.

TODAY, I WANT TO TALK TO YOU FOR A MOMENT ABOUT FEARING GOD

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

I. FIRST OF ALL: LET ME SAY, WE ARE NOT TO FEAR MEN {or women}

Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety. {Proverbs 29:25}

Insecurity is really our biggest problem

  • If we crave comfort–we will fear discomfort
  • If we crave approval–we will fear criticism
  • If we crave acceptance–we will fear rejection
  • If we crave admiration for our attractiveness–we will fear getting old and fat

Let me put it another way

  • Why don’t we share our faith?
  • Why don’t we confess our sins?
  • Why don’t we put passion into our worship?

The answer to all these questions is we have a man fearing spirit and Jesus tells us not to fear man.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Today, I am going to tell you how to overcome your man fearing spirit.

ONE: Admit your fear of man–confss it.

The first step to recovery is heonesty. You cannot hope to get better unless you are willing to confess there is a problem. Some of you men are as henpecked as all get out and you will sit here today and deny you have a problem. Come on, get real!

TWO: Ask the LORD to help you begin to grow in your fear of God.

{Psalms 34:11–Come, my children, and listen to me,and I will teach you to fear the LORD} Fearing the LORD is a learning process and there has to be a starting point. That starting point could be today.

THREE: Assess your motives and goals.

What do you want most from life and who do you want to please most?

Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. {John 12:42-43}

FOUR: Act today and begin small.

Don’t put this off, begin today working on your man fearing spirit. Worship is a good place to start. Sing with all your heart no matter who is sitting near you. Move to the front if that makes it easier. Don’t start with the firing squad or a martyrs heroic death. Start small and grow big. {Peter is a good example}

FIVE: Acknowlege that your fear of man is driven by your selfish desires.

As Ed Welch and Geoffrey Kirland have said, Exchange your Need for others for a passion to love others more.” In other words, stop focusing on your needs and begin to focus on the needs of others. [All five points came from the insights of Geoffrey Kirland, [http://thecripplegate.com/the-fear-of-man-how-to-destroy-it/]

Jesus said, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that. Perhaps you are thinking, this doesn’t comfort me but think about this way, beyond physical death, man has no power over you. Yes, Obama could have the CIA eliminate me but that is in this world. In the next world, he has absolutely no power. I am comforted to know that ultimately, no man has power over my eternal destiny other than Jesus.

II. SECONDLY AND IN CONCLUSION: WE ARE TO FEAR GOD

Jesus said, I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, He’s the one to fear.

Man has the power to murder, to kill to execute but man has no power after death. They can kill us but that is as much as they can do. God has the power to take life and to cast us into hell. He is the One we should fear.

Let me tell you briefly how hell or gehenna got its name. It was a narrow ravine located Southwest of Jerusalem and was known first as the valley of Hinnon, meaning it belonged to someone in the family of Hinnon. Then Solomon brought in Molech and Chemosh and it became a place where the charred bodies of innocent babies were disposed. By the time of the incarnation, it was the city dump where the fire burned day and night

I have just described to you a hideous and horrible place where no one would want to go but the real hell is infinitely worse. We cannot imagine the horror of hell. It is far worse than any movie or picture you have seen. Hell was not created for you: it was created for the devil and his followers.

God does not want you to go to hell. 2 Peter 3:9 clearly states…The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

There can be no heaven without a hell, just as there can be no freedom without prisons. Lucifer destroyed any hope of that in eternity past. God is going to encarserate evil someday and confine it to this awful place called hell. I can promise you, there will be no jokes in hell, no laughter, no fun, no merriment. It will be the ultimate horror movie, worse than anyone can imagine.

So today in Christ behalf, I beg you to repent of your sins, turn from your selfish ways and interest and turned to Christ. He is our only hope. I don’t know exactly where heaven is so I cannot know the way. Some think it is beyond space, others think it could be as near as our atomosphere but I know Jesus and He is the way.

Turn from self and sin and turn to Jesus, today! Hell is for those who demand their way.

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